When I am praying about a situation, I call upon the Lord, using one of His names that identifies my need. So in periods of difficulty or pain, I ask for my Comforter to come (Is. 40:1, 51:12, 66:13). I trust that He will encourage my heart, relieve my burdens, and help me through trials.
However, many people cannot see God as a comforter. They misinterpret names like “Judge” to mean a tough disciplinarian or “King” to mean a distant and distracted deity. They imagine He is either waiting to rain down punishment or too busy to notice our puny life. Someone with such a wrong concept won’t even notice the Lord’s offers of consolation as they walk through valleys. Instead, that person is likely to struggle with unbelief, frustration, and perhaps bitterness toward God.
Jesus Christ was the representation of God the Father on earth—and the symbol of all His names. He always responded to hurt and distressed people with soothing words and kind actions. He did not judge the Samaritan woman for her serial marriages. Instead, Jesus offered her new life (John 4:14). He gave relief to the bleeding woman (Luke 8:48) and solace to Jairus’ grieving family (Luke 8:52). And the Lord is as ready to comfort and strengthen believers today as He was back then.
Human beings heap shame and blame upon themselves and each other, but the Lord doesn’t operate that way. He is the God of comfort, a trait that shows up in another of His names: Shepherd. The Shepherd uplifts His followers, even through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23:4).